Pak, US stay in touch to remove misunderstandings

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Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad

Talks are continuing between Pakistan and the US at various levels through the relations witnessed a downward trend ever since the US President Donald Trump in his New Year tweet accused Islamabad of lies and deceit.
US Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Council Senior Director for South and Central Asia Lisa Curtis on Monday held a meeting with Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua during an emergency visit to the country.
The meeting held at the foreign office discussed Pak-US relations and the regional situation with particular reference to the situation in Afghanistan.
According to sources, Foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua presented Pakistan’s point of view in clear terms vis-à-vis regional security situation. She reiterated that Pakistan desires peace and stability in Afghanistan. Afghan led and Afghan owned peace process is the only way forward to achieve the desired goal, she added.
The visiting US diplomat was also briefed about the steps taken by Pakistan to check cross border movement of undesirable elements.
It merits mentioning here that Trump’s tweet was followed by the US withholding $255 million in aid to Islamabad, accusing Pakistan of failing to cooperate fully in the fight against terrorism.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal at his weekly news briefing on Friday also stated that Pakistan’s behind-the-scenes diplomacy with the United States was continuing and the onus of repairing ties lay with Washington, whose unilateral actions had damaged the relationship. “Pakistan and the US are trying to find common ground in their bilateral relations, which is happening outside public glare. So far, we have not failed,” FO spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said at his weekly media briefing.
Tensions between Islamabad and Washington had intensified after the announcement of the Trump administration’s strategy for South Asia and Afghanistan, which was very critical of Pakistan for its alleged inaction against terror sanctuaries used for sustaining the insurgency in Afghanistan.
The US government’s move to get Pakistan grey listed with counter-illicit financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force has complicated the situation further.

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